Winter Gardens Blackpool begins first phase of major renovation works

25 January 2023

Approval of over £1.7M capital investment for the venue gives the green light for the first of over 40 transformation projects

The green light for over £1.7M worth of capital spend has allowed the first phase of work to begin at Winter Gardens Blackpool as part of a major investment programme in the venue.

The Galleon Bar is undergoing a transformation with a full new bar re-fit to accommodate more staff and to protect the heritage of the site for future generations. The bar first opened in May 1931 and is a spectacular recreation of an old Galleon ship from the Spanish Armada.

Guests attending the shows at the Opera House often enjoy a pre-show drink in the dark, atmospheric space. The oak beams were designed by Andrew Mazzei and were created in replica plasterwork. As part of the works the beams are being restored and cleaned.

Contractors will then start on the iconic and much-loved Old Victoria bar, the home of daytime entertainment for thousands of visitors throughout the season.

The traditional British bar has been serving refreshments and keeping visitors entertained with some of the UK’s best British Cabaret artists in a Victorian pub setting.

The works are the first major changes made in over 40 years to the Galleon Bar and will improve service quality and speed and deliver greater efficiencies for the venue team enhancing the customer experience.

Modern service counters are hidden by the original features of the bars and new tills have been added for a quicker service time and to reduce queues at busy periods. New interval ordering facilities and an ‘at seat’ service is also planned.

Michael Williams, Managing Director of the Winter Gardens Blackpool said: “It’s exciting to get the work started on the first two venues following the agreement of the capital investment programme for the Winter Gardens Blackpool complex. The investment has been funded by the restoration levy paid by customers to the venue which is incredible.

“Our aim is to preserve and showcase the heritage of the building and its many venues while continuing to deliver the excellent service that our visitors expect. Managing the balance between protecting the traditional and delivering state of the art venues and service is one of our biggest challenges.”

The works mark the start of a 5-year programme of renovation that will totally transform the visitor experience.

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